(This is a continuation of The Big News. I wasn’t originally planning on writing it, but I feel it’s important to really give readers a fuller perspective on how I think about stuff, especially family relationships & parenthood)
It’s now been 2 years and 7 and a half months since I became murtadd (ex-muslim). It’s still one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for myself. At the same time, not all consequences of that decision have been positive.
The most dramatic consequence to date is I WAS MADE HOMELESS. Yes, that was directly because I told my mother about my apostasy. I didn’t tell her straight away, because I was building up the courage and still getting used to it myself! I had no intention of keeping it hidden forever though, because that’s the coward’s way.
It took about a year, and as I expected she didn’t take it well at all. Here’s a list of the things that happened as a result:
- She stopped speaking to me – while we were under the same roof. The only communication we had was her telling me to move out, and loads of shouting. It got so bad that if she’d gotten physically violent or threatened it (which I believe she would have), I would’ve defended myself by any means necessary. Any.
Oh, another thing I should mention is I have an autistic younger brother. Even though his autism is severe enough that he still can’t say full sentences (he’s 25), I’m certain he understood the intensity of the conflicts even if he didn’t understand what they were about. I’ve always felt he’s been severely underestimated his entire life. Apart from the fact that I only retaliate not initiate violence, I also knew that mum is his only means of support which is why I held back at all.
- She stopped respecting my privacy. She read my diary – which she never used to do before.
- She started throwing my belongings away. That’s when I made a conscious decision. When I get myself properly settled I would steal mum’s Qur’an & ahadiyth collection, because I knew that’s what she treasured most. And I’ve done it.
- She forbade me from eating any food I didn’t buy myself. That’s when my eating habits became seriously disturbed; I went down to only eating 1 meal & 1 snack a day. Even now I still don’t eat as much as my body needs.
- She dismantled my bed. This meant I had only the living room floor to sleep on. My sleeping patterns became seriously disturbed as a result; I had to wake up to use the toilet literally every single night. I didn’t have even one unbroken night’s sleep in all that time.
- Something that did surprise me is how Pakistani mum really is (behaviourally. She’s of ‘black’ Jamaican background). In all the time I lived with her, I never knew her to care what other people thought or said about her. Even having my autistic brother wasn’t an issue (& I know for some parents it is. They’d be too ashamed to let the kid see light of day!). Once I told her and my ex-stepdad of my irtidad that completely changed. She begged/ threatened me to never tell anyone in the local community. I know that’s a Sasian thing because the area we lived in was predominantly Pakistani, and they’re really up themselves about honour, shame, all that fuckery. I replied I wouldn’t tell anyone UNLESS THEY ASKED.
- I became suicidal. There was a day I had a knife to my throat and was ready to slit it, but it was only the thought of my gf that stopped me. To this day she doesn’t even know.
- Months before I got properly kicked out, I went to the local social services to get rehoused. As you know, the social housing sector is pointlessly slow. Part of the reason is they take the piss. I told them the whole thing (including the suicidal tendencies), and they didn’t believe me. At one point they tried to turn me away because I didn’t bring my passport with me, even though they’d met me before and knew I was a British native! Not to mention that I wasn’t a priority because I was otherwise healthy, non-disabled, heterosexual, single, male, under the age of 35, and with no history of drug/ booze use let alone abuse.
Yes, suicide is considered a non-priority by the English social services. In that case I hope they do us all a favour and top themselves.
- After she kicked me out (in writing), I lived in a hostel. I found it myself after loads of referrals from other services and searches. I was there for 4 months. It’s telling that the other tenants were almost all African immigrants. But they were never the problem. The vast majority of them I got on very well with, and I still speak to them to this day. The main problem was the landlord (Pakistani Christian), cook (Sasian, once gave me rotten fruit and refused to apologise) and housing coach (‘white’, and useless as shit), plus the “responsible tenant” who was there to keep an eye on us (house n***** who hogged the washing machine). So yeah, England is still racially segregated.
However, after 2 months in the hostel I found out about Crisis. It’s a charity dedicated to helping homeless single people secure private accommodation, as well as help with benefits, employment, etc. if they need it. Yes they found me a place. YAY!!!
At various points mum has tried to contact me again wanting to meet my girlfriend. Fortunately I’d made her fully aware of everything, so my gf refused to meet her. Just as well; I didn’t want them to meet! I honestly believe she’d have been in physical danger. Why? She’s exactly the opposite of the kind of woman mum wanted me to have: non-Muslim & from a certain Wafrican country that Jamaicans often hate. Plus it’s likely mum would’ve tried to blame her for my apostasy, completely ignoring that I apostatised before I even met her. I love my gf too much to put her in that level of danger.
Why did I not tell other family members? I have loads. Because they most likely wouldn’t have believed me; mum’s always been the sensible level-headed “good girl” among her siblings. Also, it wouldn’t have helped; my family members have always been very slow to help each other. Furthermore, being the only Muslims in the family made us the odd ones out. Though we were respected and seen as “good”, I’ve always noticed a certain reservedness everyone displays toward practicing Muslims. Even the one member I told didn’t believe I could “just give up” the faith, that I was still Muslim deep down*.
For those reasons I consider MY WHOLE FAMILY as bad as mum, and I unapologetically hate her and have no desire to reconcile. Ever.
* On a slight tangent, people who’ve never met me greet me with “as-salamu ‘alaykum”. Even my gf agrees I “look like a Muslim”, and it’s not just the beard! Shite!
This is why I have huge reservations about parenthood. I don’t want this shit to be epigenetically passed on to the next generation, or to accidentally project any lurking insecurity onto them. Not to mention I resolutely refuse to have children in a ‘white’-majority country.
(Please see my poem Fifty Percent)
I was never unwilling to accept, but now I’ve experienced first-hand, that:
In some cases, parental love is conditional and temporary. Not all parents love their children or wish them happiness and success. I know this doesn’t refer to all parents (otherwise we’d all be screwed!!!), and I have friends with very supportive parents/ families. I also acknowledge that my situation is not unique, as being made homeless is a surprisingly common theme among ex-Muslims.
This makes sense considering Muslims are taught that love of Allah and his prophet (not prophets?) takes priority over EVERYTHING else – including family. Muhammad directly said no-one’s a true believer until s/he loves him more than their family. Flick through the ahadiyth and you’ll see a lot of his followers greeting him with “May my father and mother be sacrificed for you.” The Qur’an (64:15) says “Your wealth & your children are only a fitnah*, and Allah has with him a great reward.”
* can translate as trial, infatuation, tribulation, riot, enchantment, persecution, test, temptation or civil strife. Take your pick.
It is 100% true also that under the shariy’ah, murtadduwn are to be killed. If England were a Muslim-ruled country, I would have been slaughtered.
(In case anyone’s under any illusions, ex-Muslims do get physically attacked and killed right here in England too. I was just stupidly lucky.)
I write this fully aware that my mum sometimes reads this blog (remember she no longer gives a shit about my privacy). But it is an important story to tell. I originally wanted to keep it firmly in my past, but it has made me who I am today.
I am free of the burden of my family’s secretiveness!
I am spatially distinct from the filth of Abrahamic monotheism!
I am on my way to bigger and better things with my creativity and destiny!
I am several steps closer to leaving this shithole country for good!
I like being alive!!!